Rideau-Goulbourn community leaders prep for breakfast meeting with the mayor

From the Richmond Village Association web site:

Mayor Jim Watson has invited our RVA President, Tino Bevacqua, as well as other community leaders in the Rideau-Goulbourn Ward to join him and Councillor Scott Moffatt for breakfast on Nov. 30th.  The purpose of the meeting is to open communication between the Mayor and community leaders.  Our President plans to raise two broad topics with the Mayor, the coming 2018 celebrations and Richmond’s need for Community space.  Are there other topics that should be considered in the context of this breakfast meeting?”

You can share your topic ideas here.


COMMENT: Questions to ask about the 2016 municipal budget

(Photo: The 2015 draft budget includes $150,000 for two new arena dehumidifiers at the Goulbourn Rec Centre. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Mayor Jim Watson wants us to judge the City budget on how much (or how little) more tax we’ll pay.  Limiting the tax increase in 2016 to 2% is a good thing, but putting so much emphasis on this one metric makes me wonder what we’re not being told.

For example, your water and sewer charge will be going up by six percent, adding nearly as much to your yearly household bill as the tax increase will.  Watson left that part out of his budget speech.  (A 6% water bill increase adds about $49 to the average yearly bill.  A 2% tax increase translates to about $72 more in municipal taxes for an urban home assessed at $375,300.)

Here are a few questions I have for Mayor Watson and his finance team:

  • The draft budget includes $40,000 per ward for traffic calming, but how many speed bumps or flex-signs does that actually pay for? Is it enough to address the many neighbourhood problems that we have in Stittsville?
  • What exactly is being cut? And how will the cuts impact services? Here’s a concern raised by Kitchisippi councillor Jeff Leiper, who says that the draft budget lacks transparency in explaining how “efficiencies” are being found“We’re going to need a lot of answers between now and when the budgets are debated at committee to understand whether this budget is as advertised: a balance between a low tax increase and no impact to services. I don’t feel comfortable that we have enough information to determine whether we’re putting our future ability to do public works at risk given how much of our reserves we’re spending.”
  • Is the budget good for the long-term financial health for our city?   Veteran councillor Rick Chiarelli brought this up in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen recently: “We are currently only investing a fraction of what our dedicated public service and outside accountants advise is the optimum level of investment in repair, maintenance and lifecycle replacement to achieve the mid and long range lowest cost to taxpayers. Failure to invest enough in these elements of the budget are false savings… Every dollar we evade spending on these things can create a bill of 10-50 times that amount in avoidable future costs when, instead, we have to reconstruct the asset.”
  • Are we getting our fair share in the suburbs? Citizen columnist David Reevely offers a cogent analysis on “assessment growth”, and how tax revenue from new condos and communities gets incorporated into the city budget: “Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, who represents Kanata North, has complained for years that new neighbourhoods in her ward have been denied transit service they deserve. Mainly, OC Transpo has stretched its existing service to cover more territory rather than putting more buses on new routes. If you live in Kanata Lakes or Morgan’s Grant (or any of Ottawa’s newer suburbs outside the Greenbelt), and you wonder why the bus isn’t better, the cannibalizing of assessment-growth money is one reason. “

Councillor Shad Qadri told StittsvilleCentral.ca in an email last week that he was generally pleased with the draft budget.

“There are a number of important items for Stittsville and I will continue to work on other items that I also feel require funding in our community,” he said. (Although he wouldn’t elaborate on what those other items may be.)

You can find more information on the budget and how it impacts Stittsville on Qadri’s web site.  You can send comments to budget2016@ottawa.ca.  And if you can fit your comments into 140 characters, tweet them using the hashtag #ottbudget.




Richardson farmhouse to be turned into condo clubhouse

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I knew what was happening with the old stone house at Terry Fox and Richardson Side Road in Kanata North.

That’s the Richardson farmhouse, perched part-way up the hill, surrounded by new housing.  I heard a few rumours about what the developer might have planned (a lawyer’s office? a private residence?) but recently its future use has been confirmed: a clubhouse for the neighbouring condo development.

Continue reading


Mailbox provides direct shipping from Jackson Trails to North Pole

Once again this year, Santa has dropped off a mailbox at 233 Denali Way in Jackson Trails.

Local real estate agent Shane Foley confirms that he received a heads up this week from Mr. Claus that any letters dropped into the slot will be shipped directly to the North Pole in time for Christmas.



Restaurant and commercial building proposed for 301 Palladium Drive

A new site plan control and zoning bylaw amendment were posted this week for a tear-drop shaped piece of land at 301 Palladium Drive.   The restaurant name isn’t indicated in the applications, but drawings included in the submissions to the city include signage for a Heart & Crown restaurant.  (We haven’t been able to confirm yet through the Heart & Crown if they are involved in this development.)

How’s how they describe the development:

The subject property is located along Palladium Drive between Terry Fox Drive and Silver Seven Road. The surrounding area is primarily characterized by business park and office uses. The Kanata North Client Service Centre exists directly east of the site; office and warehouse buildings exist to the west and southwest; a hotel is situated to the northeast; and further north of the site is a Costco, situated along the Queensway.

The site is approximately 4,950 square metres in size with 125 metres of frontage on Palladium Drive. The site is currently vacant with a number of trees along the Palladium Drive frontage.

A Site Plan Control application has been submitted to accommodate a commercial mixed use building with a restaurant being the primary use. The proposed building is one storey (with mezzanine) at a maximum height of 15.2 metres and a gross floor area of 556 square metres. The building includes patio areas on the north, west and east sides of the building. The development includes two accesses; both from the private road that runs along the southern portion of the site.

The subject property is currently zoned Light Industrial Subzone 5, Maximum Building Height 22 metres (IL5 H(22)) and Light Industrial Subzone 5, Exception 306, Maximum Building Height 30 metres (IL5 [306] H(30)).

The amendment to the zoning by-law proposes to rezone the subject property to General Mixed Use with site specific provisions. The applicant is proposing the General Mixed Use Zone to permit a restaurant and office uses on site. The proposed yard setbacks will reflect the zoning provisions of the nearby office uses.


Notebook: Gaia Java update, Stittsville BIA

Gaia Java owners Paul Melsness and Paul Jay. Photo by Barry Gray.
Gaia Java owners Paul Melsness and Paul Jay. Photo by Barry Gray.

A couple weeks ago at their weekly Friday night music event, Gaia Java co-owner Paul Jay announced that he and Paul Melsness will not be renewing the lease on their coffee shop when it expires at the end of 2015.  A deal with a prospective buyer fell through.

The closing of this local coffee shop would be a huge loss for our community.  The two Pauls have created a cozy cultural centre that’s a favourite meeting place for so many local groups, big and small. (We profiled the shop back in January.) Continue reading


Canada’s national sledge hockey team on the ice at GRC

(via Hockey Canada)

Canada’s National Sledge Team was on the ice at the Goulbourn Rec Centre this week, running on-ice clinics with players from Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario (SHEO).

Players and coaches from the national team ran clinics for about 20 players ranging from five years old to more than 30. The night also included off-ice activities, including autograph sessions and informal chats between Team Canada and the SHEO players.

“It was fun for the players to have a chance to share our experiences with sledge hockey, and pass on our knowledge of the sport to newer players,” said Adam Dixon, a defenceman on the national team.  “Our team really enjoys spending time with sledge players at the grassroots level. We understand that they are an important piece of the future of our sport.”

“It was a great experience for our team to take advantage of an opportunity to give back to the community, and help grow sledge hockey in the Ottawa area. We hope to take advantage of similar opportunites in the future,” said Ken Babey, the team’s, head coach.

Canada’s National Sledge Team was on the ice for two hours with some players from Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario. Photo by James Emery, Hockey Canada Images.
Photo by James Emery, Hockey Canada Images.
Canada’s National Sledge Team was on the ice for two hours with some players from Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario. Photo by James Emery, Hockey Canada Images.
Photo by James Emery, Hockey Canada Images.


Two NHL captains visit Napoli’s

One retired NHL captain (Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators) and one current NHL captain (Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets) were at Napoli's on Wednesday night.  They're pictured here with co-owner Bassel Khalil.
Photo via Napoli’s

One retired NHL captain (Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators) and one current NHL captain (Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets) were at Napoli’s on Wednesday night.  They’re pictured here with co-owner Bassel Khalil.

Foligno played for the Sens from 2007-2012, and his Blue Jackets are in town to play at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night.


Waste Management gets Environmental Compliance Approval for expanded landfill

Waste Management has passed one of the last regulatory hurdles required to move ahead with the expansion of the Carp Road landfill.

Ross Wallace, a company official, sent an email to stakeholders today to inform that that the Ministry of the Environment and Climiate Change has granted an Environmental Compliance Approval for the site. Continue reading


Los Hacheros baseball team travels from Stittsville to Dominican Republic

xeThe Los Hacheros baseball team from Stittsville/Kanata recently travelled to the Dominican Republic for a week of friendly games with Dominican and Haitian teams.

The boys were billeted with local families in the small town of Yamasa and had the experience of a lifetime! The boys played four games and handed out shirts and ballcaps to each of their opponents, many provided by the Ottawa Champions Baseball Club. Continue reading


QADRI: “An Open Discussion on Crime” – November 25 at GRC

(via Councillor Shad Qadri’s weekly newsletter)

We are fortunate to live in the great community of Stittsville which provides residents with a safe community to live, work and play.  However, there do continue to be incidents of vandalism and petty crime which are very upsetting to residents and creates an negative environment in the place we call home. Continue reading


Roland Doucet plays this Friday at Gaia Java

Roland Doucet
Roland Doucet


Hopefully you have managed to catch one of the previous Gaia Java performances by this musical gent who is understandably widely respected around the Ottawa musical scene.

With a very competent guitar style and an expressive vocal delivery, Roland covers a wide range of styles and genres, giving a program of variety and familiarity that you will really enjoy. He describes his music as “swinging blues and bluesy swing”! Covering classic tunes from the whole of the 20th century, Roland interprets material by the great composers of the first half of the century (Robert Johnson, Gershwin, Monk, etc.) but also some Beatles, Dylan, Hank Williams…

Roland started playing at 14, did a short stint at Berklee Music College in Boston in the 80s, before going to live in New Orleans where he played blues, trad jazz, and R&B. In the 90s, he played in a blues band with his son in Winnipeg, and still occasionally gets up to play with him when he is in the area. (Just recently Roland was out west again, but this time was playing with his grandson!)

Here’s how Greg Kelly (Tunes Afternoon at the Black Irish, and also performer at Gaia Java not so long ago) described Roland’s music: “Roland does New Orleans-inspired jazz and blues standards, performed with joy and truth!”

The music nights start at 7pm, and as usual there is no charge, but we do have a ‘jar’ for donations to support the musicians, and we hope that you will buy a drink or two (and maybe something tasty to eat!)

Roland Doucet is at Gaia Java on Stittsville Main Street on Friday, November 20 at 7:00pm.


Two-storey automotive shop proposed for Hazeldean and Sweetnam

A new site plan control proposal has been posted to the City’s web site for a two-storey automotive shop at 5830 Hazeldean just east of Sweetnam.

“The proposed building will be to accommodate an automotive service facility known as Kanata Rims and Tires. The proposed building is two storeys in height (9.5 metres) with a gross floor area of 1,375 square metres. The building includes nine service bays with a mezzanine and storage area above the ground floor. The development includes two accesses; an all directional access off of Sweetnam Drive and an access limited to right-in right-out off Hazeldean Road. 20 surface parking spaces are proposed surrounding the building.=

Two bioretention and infiltration areas are proposed adjacent Poole Creek to manage stormwater. Some of the existing trees on the site will need to be removed to accommodate the development; however the majority of the trees on site will be retained. Additional plantings are proposed to compensate for tree removal.”

The land was once home to Alfonsetti’s restaurant, and the building on the site was demolished earlier this year.  Kanata Rim and Tires is currently located on Edgewater, behind Terry Fox. If they move to Stittsville, we recommend a name change to either “Stittsville Rim & Tires” or even “Hazeldean Rim & Tires”!

The City is accepting public comments until December 15. You can send your comments to Mike Schmidt, Planner, Development Review, Suburban Services 110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th floor Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1. 613-580-2424, ext. 13431. Mike.Schmidt@ottawa.ca

More info about the plan is here.


Zoning bylaw amendment submitted for Stittsville South

There’s a new zoning bylaw amendment proposal for the area known as “Stittsiville South“, a new development on the east side of Stittsville Main near Hartsmere.

Zoning By-law Amendment: to rezone the lands to Residential First Density Subzone V (R1V Zone), Residential First Density Subzone V with exception for a 5m no-touch zone (R1V with exception), Residential First Density Subzone Z (R1Z Zone), Residential First Density Subzone Z with exception for a 5m no-touch zone (R1Z with exception), Residential Third Density Subzone Z (R3Z), Residential Fourth Density Subzone Z (R4Z) and Parks and Open Space Zone (O1). The R1V and R1Z zones will permit single detached dwellings only. The R3Z zone will allow townhouse units. The R4Z zone will allow low rise apartments of four storeys. The O1 zone is for two parks and a stormwater management pond.”

More info here…


Stittsville B5 Titans win Arnprior House B Tournament

(Back row left to right: Assistant Coach Peter Pranschke, Noah Lebano, Matthew Gagnon, Connor Ingram, Michael Larson, Trainer Chris McWebb, Nico Pare, Calvin Pranschke, Head Coach Cory Garbolinsky, Assistant Coach Sam Mourad. Front row left to right: Ryan Mourad, Kyle Gnaedinger, Ayden De La Roche, Shane McWebb, Matthew Garbolinsky, Joey Bernier, Bryce Usher and Greg Cowan (missing Logan Lafleur.)

The Titans’ weekend didn’t start off great with a loss to the West End Storm 3-1 in our first game of the tournament. But a four game win streak started from there to allow us to take the trophy. We started our streak with a win over the Host Arnprior Anacondas 9-1. This then setup our final pool game versus Perth Lanark Wings, we won a close game 3-2 which allowed us to win the pool on goal differential.

Continue reading


Greco raises over $1,500 for boy battling leukemia

Greco Stittsville hosted a fundraising fitness class on Saturday in support of Michael Meehan, a nine-year-old boy from Stittsville who’s undergoing intensive treatment for leukemia for the second time.

The event raised over $1500 to help the family with some of their expenses like gas, parking and meals while they’re at the hospital. The class was run by Matt Sicoli (one of the owners) and Kenny Caceros.

Another great example of people and businesses giving back to the community in Stittsville.

Blackboard at the Greco leukemia fundraiser


Stittsville Public School will support 17 families at Christmas

(Above: Stittsville Public School student Ella Sultan helps sort some of the many donations received last year.)

Hi, my name is Ella and my mom and I are organizing the Christmas Hampers this year at Stittsville Public School, in support of the Stittsville Food Bank.

Last year, there were nine classes participating and nine families that were helped. This year, there are 17 classes participating and 17 families that are being helped. Continue reading


Traffic impacts on Eagleson Road and Highway 417 on-ramps start Tuesday

(Media advisory)

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) will begin work on Tuesday, November 17 to widen sidewalks on the west side of the Eagleson Road Bridge over Highway 417 and its approaches. The construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-December.

As part of the construction activities, MTO will need to reduce southbound Eagleson Road to one lane in the work area. The eastbound and westbound on-ramps to Highway 417 from southbound Eagleson Road will also be closed overnight from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for approximately five weeks.

Pedestrians will be redirected to the east sidewalk during construction.

The work will deliver a better walking environment for pedestrians crossing the Eagleson Bridge by widening the sidewalk on the west side of the bridge and its approaches and eliminating concrete drainage outlets on the approaches to provide a flat surface

Portable Variable Message Signs are already in place to advise motorists of the upcoming lane reduction and ramp closures so they can plan alternate routes.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:


For current information about traffic and construction around the city, visit ottawa.ca.


Community groups ask for role in landfill negotiations

(Press release from COLA.)

COLA (Coalition for Landfill Accountability) wants the City of Ottawa to engage in real and meaningful consultation with residents during the negotiations of the Host Municipal Responsibility Agreement (HMRA) for the Carp Road landfill expansion.

The HMRA is being negotiated between the City and Waste Management (WM) behind closed doors, with no community engagement. This lack of transparency is unacceptable.


BACKGROUND: The Site Plan Control for Waste Management’s Carp Road landfill expansion (or “West Carleton Environmental Centre”) was approved by the City on October 28, 2015. One of the conditions of approval is that Waste Management enter into a HMRA with the City. The HMRA is supposed to address a number of community concerns including:

  • Community compensation
  • Odour management
  • Property value protection
  • Groundwater safety
  • Traffic
  • Transparency

This is similar to the process in 2001, when the City of Ottawa and WM negotiated in secret, and came up with an agreement that left much to be desired:

  • It did not include property value protection for neighbouring residents and businesses.
  • The negotiated “cost-per-tonne” levy was only $1 per tonne. (Recently- negotiated agreements in Southern Ontario have been set at $6 per tonne.) This represents significant revenue to the City given that the proposed landfill can accept up to 400,000 tonnes of garbage per year.
  • Community compensation included an additional $60,000 per year to support “environmental initiatives and local projects” in nearby wards. Projects funded by the community compensation were selected by WM and west end city councillors, again behind closed doors. The community had no input into where that money was spent.


OUR REQUEST: COLA is asking the City of Ottawa and Waste Management to consult and include residents and community associations in the negotiation process now, instead of after a draft is completed. Community input and engagement in the HMRA is vital to the development of a fair and effective agreement that benefits citizens.


Coalition for Landfill Accountability (COLA) is a group of residents and community associations in West Carleton, Stittsville and Kanata who are concerned about the proposed expansion of the Carp Road Landfill and its future impact on the community. Member associations include:
• Stittsville Village Association
• Huntley Manor Community Association
• Richardson Corridor Community Association
• Crossing Bridge Community Association
• Fairwinds Community Association
• Jackson Trails Community Association
• Southwest Stittsville Community Association
• Ward 5 Citizens Council
• Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association